This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review of a fairly new series. It’s Dr. Stone by Inagaki Riichiro!
Plot Synopsis: This science-fiction adventure series follows what happens when suddenly the world’s biggest-ever “crisis” arrives….
Plot: This series starts off pretty well, and while Senkuu is a really odd character, I like him quite a bit. Eccentricity isn’t a bad thing. I was quickly entranced by the series, but given that it was written by the Mangaka of Eyeshield 21 I shouldn’t have been surprised.
Characters: Senkuu and Taiju are our male lead characters along with Yuzuriha as our female lead. They are all really interesting characters and frankly I’m super intrigued by them. Senkuu is a genius, and Taiju seems to be the brawny guy. So I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Artwork: The artwork is awesome, as one would expect from a Jump series.
Overall: I won’t say it’s a must read, but it’s pretty darn close to being one.
For those who like: Sci-Fi, Drama, Romance, Action, Adventure, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Amazing Artwork.
This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review of a rather ridiculous Manga. It’s Sakigake Otokojuku by Miyashita Akira!
Plot Synopsis: The genius principal of the private school, Edajima Heihachi, was a war hero during World War II. He trained his students to play an active role in politics, economics and industries in Japan and all over the world, though the way of training is highly anachronistic. Staged in a private boys’ school that teaches ōendan to troubled teenagers. The students are trained to “revive the Spirit of Japan” and mainly engage in fighting courses.
Plot: The plot of this first chapter is pretty freaking ridiculous and while I’ve been told that the series has a Genre Shift later, the first chapter is almost nothing but gags. I don’t have a problem with Gag Manga in general, but they can get grating after a while so knowing that it doesn’t just stick to gags is good. I’ll probably read the entire series eventually, as it’s been completely translated a while ago.
Characters: Tsurigi Momotaro is our protagonist and he fits right in with the rest of the Manga. He has a quote in this first chapter that I wholly agree with. “There’s no place for logic in Otokojuku.” It is pretty much the entire theme of this first chapter. Edajima on the other hand is completely over the top in his reactions to criticism. I enjoyed both of them immensely.
Art: The art is pretty standard for the era it was written in, which was 1985 when it first ran. That being said it was pretty awesome with tons of detail and shading, and since it’s a Shueisha publication I expect the art will stay pretty uniformly awesome during the entire series.
Overall: If you enjoy Gags and Martial Arts, you’ll enjoy Otokojuku.
For those who like: Action, Comedy, Drama, Gag Manga, Hilarious Plot and Characters, Excellent Artwork.
This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Samon the Summoner by Numa Shun!
Plot Synopsis: Class-president Teshigawara Sakura tries to get the new transfer student Samon Shosuke to join a club or found his own as he is always alone in class. He got off the wrong foot with the class after claiming that his favorite Hobby was “summoning Demons”. Samon becomes interested in her after he learns of her being a “good person” including her image as an Angel. So he invites her to the roof to talk about something. Thinking he is about to confess his love she gets excited. At least at first….
Plot: The plot was fairly interesting, I have to admit I wasn’t expecting it to be so interesting before reading this first chapter. Hopefully we get to see lots more comedic action as the series progresses.
Characters: The lead pair are both fairly interesting, with Teshigawara being the epitome of a goody goody two-shoes, and Samon being pretty apathetic and uncaring towards the world as a whole. I hope to see them both grow as the series goes on.
Art: The art wasn’t quite as detailed as I was expecting from a Shueisha publication, not that it was bad it’s just the art style wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
Overall: I’m interested to see if this gets better, or if it just continues the same antics without really going anywhere. Hopefully it’ll be the former, because if it’s the latter I’ll probably stop reading it.
For those who like: Comedy, Drama, Action, School Life, Fantasy, Magic, Great Lead Characters, Interesting Plot, Good Artwork.
This week for Manga Monday I’m back with a One-Shot from the Mangaka of Kuruko no Basuke! It’s Zenei no Archer, or Vanguard of Archer, by Tadatoshi Fujimaki!
Plot Synopsis: After 10 years of training, Yoichi returns home to fight against the Wenkamui, an endless horde of mysterious monsters that threaten the safety of his village. He’s not alone in his fight; his best friend Ryu, bearer of the divine sword Kamui, has also spent this time training to fulfill his destiny. However, a decade is a long time, and upon his return, not everything is as Yoichi expected it would be…
Plot: This is a really great One-Shot, in fact it’s probably good enough to get serialized and I hope it does as it was quite fun to read. I also enjoy the complete reversal of all the standard Fantasy tropes. While it’s only 49 pages long, I really did enjoy the hell out of Vanguard of Archer.
Characters: Yoichi is a pretty chill hero and I enjoy his archetype a hell of a lot more than most standard Shounen heroes. Ryu on the other hand is fairly stereotypical. Hana is the other named character, and she’s more interesting than Ryu.
Art: The art is great, as expected by the author of Kuruko and being published by Shueisha.
Overall: An excellent read, the only downside is that it’s a One-Shot for now.
For those who like: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Amazing Artwork.
This week for Manga Monday I’m covering a super short series. It’s Yoakemono by Shibata Yuusaku!
Plot Synopsis: The two boys Gin and Jinrou form a tough team in the mountains. One day, Gin decides that the only way they can move forward is to travel to the capital and join the Shinsengumi.
Plot: The plot isn’t super happy, in fact it’s pretty tragic. That being said this series was axed early on and thus had a really rushed ending. It only lasted 16 chapters in Weekly Shonen Jump. This is definitely not a series I’d enjoy reading again.
Characters: Jinrou is the main and Gin is his foil in every way, where Jinrou is a loner and hates big crowds, Gin loves them. The rest of the cast is quite interesting though as it takes famous and mythical characters from Japans History and Lore and gives them pretty interesting spins. That being said it wasn’t enough to hold my interest or others as the series was axed.
Art: It’s pure classic Shonen Jump artwork, and it’s wonderful. Sadly it didn’t help the series last longer.
Overall: This is a skippable series, don’t bother reading it unless you are a Japanese History lover.
For those who like: Japanese History, Action, Tragedy, Interesting Cast of Characters, Excellent Artwork.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or less than stellar plots.
This week for Manga Monday I’m covering a series that I enjoyed for a while. It’s Toriko by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro!
Plot Synopsis: Toriko is a Gourmet Hunter searching for the most precious foods in the world so he can create his full-course meal. A man with inhuman ability, he utilizes his incredible strength and knowledge of the animal kingdom to capture ferocious, evasive, and rare beasts to further his menu. He is accompanied by the weak and timid chef Komatsu, who, inspired by Toriko’s ambition, travels with him to improve his culinary skills and to find rare ingredients.
Plot: The plot starts off pretty interesting, but after about 50 chapters the series quickly devolved into the standard Shonen Battle Series. I may go back and read the series completely one day after it’s finished, but for right now I’ve got better things to do.
Characters: Komatsu is probably the most interesting of the main characters, because Toriko is the typical dunce of a lead main character in a battle series. That isn’t to say the others aren’t interesting, it’s just that Komatsu is the best of the bunch.
Art: The one good thing about the series is that it’s got great artwork, which isn’t a suprise considering the series is run in Weekly Shonen Jump.
Overall: If you are dying for a Shonen series this may just be up your alley.
For those who like: Food, Action, Drama, Battle Series, Shonen, Interesting Cast of Characters, Fantastic Artwork, Decent Plot.
This week for Manga Monday I’m covering a truly classic series. It’s time to embrace your Cosmos with Saint Seiya by Masami Kurumada!
Plot Synopsis: The story focuses on an orphan named Seiya who was forced to go to the Sanctuary in Greece to obtain the Bronze Cloth of the Pegasus constellation, a protective armor worn by the Greek goddess Athena’s 88 warriors known as Saints. Upon awakening his Cosmos, the power of the Saints which is an inner spiritual essence originated in the Big Bang, Seiya quickly becomes the Pegasus Saint and returns to Japan to find his older sister. Because his sister disappeared the same day Seiya went to the Sanctuary, Saori Kido, the granddaughter of Mitsumasa Kido (the person who sent all the orphans to train) makes a deal with him to go to fight in a tournament called the Galaxian Wars. In this tournament, all the orphans who survived and became Bronze Saints must fight to win the most powerful Cloth: The Sagittarius Gold Cloth. If Seiya goes to compete there and wins, Saori would start a search to find Seiya’s sister.
Plot: The plot is pretty cheesy and it’s not amazing, but it’s a true classic Shonen series and is generally considered one of the biggest successes prior to Dragon Ball.
Characters: Of all the characters I like Saori the most, but sadly she doesn’t get as much screen time as I’d like. The rest of the cast including Seiya is okay, but nothing super special.
Art: It’s from the 1980’s so it’s dated, but it’s not bad either as this was published in Weekly Shonen Jump.
Overall: If you want a truly classic series to read, this might be up your alley.
For those who like: Action, Battle Series, Classics, Shonen Series.